By Raymundo Dioses
Terence Crawford is the new IBF junior-welterweight champion.
The Omaha, Nebraska native started early and scored a dominant knockout win via body-shot against Joseph Indongo in their unification bout that took place at the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska in front of a crowd of 12,121.
Crawford, (32-0, 23KO) knocked down Indongo in the second frame and while the defending champion was a game opponent, it was simply too much Crawford in the title bout, who was bolstered by the hometown crowd and an offensive weaponry that has the 29 year old in the sports pound for pound rankings.
"I'm just blessed to be in this position," said Crawford.
"I have to thank Bob Arum and Top Rank. I'm blessed and humbled to be the undisputed champion of the world. It means everything.”
Indongo, (22-1, 11KO) was felled in the third with a left-hand body shot followed up by a stiff right hand to the midsection. Referee Jack Reiss counted to ten for the traditional knockout win at 1:38 of round three.
Indongo was making the third defense of the IBF’s 140 title. The Namibia, Africa native won the IBF title via 1st round knockout over Eduard Troyanovsky in December 2016 and defended the title in April 2017 against Ricky Burns over 12 rounds with a unanimous decision.
"We knew the body would be open, being that he swings so wild, and we could catch him in the middle of his punches," Crawford said. "I had tall guys in the training camp, so I was used to it and adapted to it. I feel great. I feel like I hadn't even fought."
The Midwest favorite fights in and out of a traditional stance, also throwing effectively in a southpaw position; Crawford was fighting left-handed at the time of the final blows thrown in the fight. His skillset has him ranked No. 6 on ESPN’s pound for pound list.
Crawford unified all four sanctioning body titles (IBF, WBC, WBA, WBO) at junior-welterweight with the dominant win over Indongo and holds an International Boxing Federation title for the first time in a career that began in 2008. Crawford is just the second fighter to become the undisputed champion in a division in the four-belt era; the first was former IBF titleholder and future Hall of Fame inductee Bernard Hopkins.